Changing Routines and The Holidays

I’ve been feeling quite well the last several days.  I make it a point a socialize with at least one neighbor per day.  I still call my parents twice a week on average.  Other than running errands and a couple doctors’ appointments this week, I’ve stayed pretty close to home.  It’s been colder than usual the last couple weeks, so I’ve pretty much been going to bed earlier and waking up early.  I think I finally broke the habit of staying awake most of the night and sleeping in the mornings.

Been avoiding negative news for months now.  And I think it’s given me a more positive outlook overall.  Most of what I watch anymore are science shows, comedy, and inspirational materials.  I am still largely avoiding social media except to occasionally drop in on friends and promote my blog.  I just came to the conclusion that the drama involved in most social media isn’t worth the trouble.  It does make the nights kind of  lonely as facebook used to be a lot of my socializing.  But I am adjusting.

Mentally I am stable.  I am not sleeping as much as I did during the summers.  And I’m not staying up all night either.  I think I have found some balance in the kind of schedules I keep.  I have made a point of keeping my apartment cleaner than usual.  And I have to think that has positively impacted my mental health.  I’ve decided I’m regrowing my beard for the winter.  Other projects I have this winter include rereading some of the old philosophy books I read years ago in college.  I may watch more classic movies too this winter.  I don’t really have any plans for the next couple weeks.  I’m going back to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving.  I am definitely not doing the Black Friday shopping nonsense.  I do all my shopping from my computer anymore.  I don’t plan on going out shopping this Christmas but I will probably watch a few Christmas movies.  It’s A Wonderful Life and Christmas Story are my two all time favorites.

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Odd Sleep Patterns With Mental Illness

I have been experiencing changes in my sleep patterns the last several weeks.  I now usually stay up quite late and sleep in the mornings until usually noon.  But I still get my sleep and am still able to do this blog two to three times per week.  I am still able to socialize with friends and family in spite of my mornings being when I now sleep.  I have adjusted to this new routine by doing my shopping and errands at night and scheduling my medical appointments for late afternoons.  I look at it as no different than working a nigh shift job.  My mother worked night shifts for years so I think it runs in the family.

Oddly I actually have felt more stable and calm during the last few weeks.  Because of my overnight schedules I have been able to avoid problem neighbors whom have been causing me grief and irritation.  The fact that I rarely hear from irritable and angry neighbors has made my stress levels go way down.  I haven’t felt this calm and relaxed in a real long time.

Even though I’m not getting a great deal of physical activity as it’s still winter, I have found myself eating less.  Most days I eat only two meals, drink a lot of water, and have a couple cups of coffee.  I have found that caffeine can be an appetite suppressant for me.  But if I have more than two cups of coffee at a time it can make me jittery and irritable.  And I think I’ve even started to lose weight again because I’m eating much less.

I haven’t had problems with hallucinations and delusional thoughts lately.  I think it helps that I still get good sleep, avoid stressful people and situations, and just pretty much have settled into a routine that has been helpful for the course of the winter.

My sleep patterns do vary throughout the year.  During the summers I am often awake shortly after dawn and usually don’t sleep as much as the winters.  I sleep the most and stay up the latest in the winters.  But it evens out as winters are usually slow and uneventful times for me.  I usually have my worst problems with schizophrenia in late summers and early autumns.  I don’t know if it’s common for someone with my diagnosis to have seasonal aspects to the illness.

As of right now I am happy with my patterns and routines.  I can still get things done and I don’t get bothered by irritable people as much as I normally do.  I imagine as the days get warmer and longer I probably will start waking up earlier and hibernate less.

Plans For The Rest of Winter

 

Weathered the last winter storm alright.  We didn’t get much snow but we had a lot of ice that made travel impossible for over two days.  I spent those days indoors listening to free audiobooks on youtube.  Between audiobooks and my regular books I’ve kept quite occupied this winter.

I decided that I want to get more serious about improving my physical health.  I’m starting to lift arm weights again.  I’m going to get a Fitbit in a couple days.  And I’m going to schedule a checkup soon.  My previous practitioner has retired so I have to find a new doctor.  I haven’t been to a regular doctor for a couple years so I don’t exactly know where I stand physical health wise.  I haven’t been physically sick other than an occasional cold for several years, so I think I might be doing something right on that end.  I know I have gained a bunch of weight since my auto accident.  After my back went out I got real lazy about exercise and dieting.  I have been eating healthier since the weather turned colder.  But I definitely want to get serious about my physical health again.  I think I have the mental health pretty well set, at least for now.  It’s been months since I had a breakdown and weeks since I’ve had any real depression or anxiety.

Right now I’m a third of the way through winter.  I’ve adapted to the shorter days and colder weather pretty well.  I’m not experiencing the crippling bouts of depression and boredom like I have in previous winters.  I still keep odd hours.  I stay up quite late and then sleep in until late morning most days.  I don’t socialize much around my apartment complex.  I don’t really drive much anymore either.  I haven’t been outside of my town for weeks.  But during the winter there really aren’t many places to go and the weather is too unpredictable for much travel.  I keep occupied by online research and keeping in contact with friends and family most days.  I’m looking forward to spring and warmer weather.